Rebellin signs with Meridiana Kamen Guerciotti team
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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Rebellin signs with Meridiana Kamen Guerciotti team

by Shane Stokes at 7:44 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
New team-mate says Italian is extremely focussed

Davide RebellinFollowing a search for a team for the current season, former Classic specialist Davide Rebellin will attempt to get his career back on track at 40 years of age with the small Meridiana Kamen Guerciotti team.

The squad is best known for giving Riccardo Riccò the offer of a contract last year. The Italian was not permitted to take up that offer as he was suspended by the Italian cycling federation on health grounds.

The team then attempted to sign him again this season after he tried to take out a Croatian licence, but this move was blocked by the UCI. Riccò was subsequently handled a twelve year ban.

Now, continuing the pattern of taking on Italian riders with complicated backgrounds, the Croatian squad has agreed terms with Rebellin. He confirmed the signing on the team’s Facebook page.

“A new adventure begins with the Meridiana Kamen Guerciotti Team... It will be a season in red ...Red like passion, anger and my heart that still has much to say on the road.”

Rebellin was regarded as one of the best Classic riders of the modern era, taking the extremely rare triple of Liège–Bastogne–Liège, Amstel Gold and La Flèche Wallonne in 2004, winning the latter again in 2007 and 2009, and also taking the Clásica de San Sebastián and Züri-Metzgete. His victories also include Tirreno-Adriatico and Paris-Nice, plus a stage in the Giro.

Rebellin finished second in the 2008 Olympic road race in Beijing, but was subsequently found to have used the EPO-like booster CERA. The positive test was announced in April 2009 and while Rebellin denied doping and fought the case before CAS, he was deemed guilty and suspended for two years until April 2011.

He returned to competition last year with the Michel team and clocked up successes in the Tre Valli Varesine and Trofeo Melinda. Despite that, his hopes of securing a big contract didn’t pan out and he faced a fight to secure a team for this year.

New team-mate David Mclean believes that he is very focused. “What was clear when I was training with him was that firstly he is very good still, and secondly this guy is extremely professional,” he said in his blog on the VeloVeritas site. “He lives a very dedicated lifestyle that is based solely around cycling. He has no distractions, no family, no worries, just the bike.

“I doubt he has ever had any distractions, there was an aura of focus about him that I haven’t really seen in anyone before.”

Rebellin will need that focus; he’ll be 41 in August and is battling against time in trying to get back to a high level.

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